Jack White Channels Music Spirits on Saturday Night Live

After understandably laying low for most of 2020, Jack White has broken out of quarantine in the most amazing way possible for fans of his.

His week started normally enough with an announcement of how The White Stripes’ Greatest Hits is coming December 4th, entitled My Sister Thanks You and I Thank You in recognition of the music relationship he had with “older sibling” Meg White between 1997-2011.

Then came the bombshell Jack White would be an eleventh-hour replacement for country singer Morgan Wallen on the October 10th edition of Saturday Night Live. Wallen was unceremoniously dumped by the show after videos emerged of him partying it up at bar maskless while kissing younger girls. Glad SNL is taking the second wave of COVID-19 seriously.

So Jack White came to the rescue and ON ONE DAY’S NOTICE delivered one of the most jaw-dropping, symbolic performances in SNL’s illustrious history. No, he didn’t reunite with Meg but with hip-hop drummer Daru Jones and lifelong friend Dominic Davis on bass powered through White Stripes bluesy jam “Ball and Biscuit”. I should add the snippet at the start is “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, the 2016 song White did with Beyoncé. He even flawlessly inserted lyrics from Blind Willie Johnson’s “Jesus Is Coming Soon” about the 1918 flu pandemic that unfortunately still ring true today. Just incredible.

If that wasn’t enough, for second song “Lazaretto” his choice of guitar was a beautiful blue EVH Wolfgang given to him a few years ago by Eddie Van Halen himself. At first I wondered why he wouldn’t do another White Stripes song to promote the Greatest Hits package, but I was quickly gobsmacked into remembering Wikipedia defines a lazaretto as “a quarantine station for maritime travelers”. For someone who’s been made fun of for being too old-timey on occasion, Jack White sure was ahead of his time rockin’ out on this subject back in 2014. To top things off he did some brief finger tapping as a shout out to the late, great six-string maestro.

@WolfVanHalen hasn’t commented yet, although I’m sure he appreciated the tribute. Thanks Jack White for also making us miss live music that much more. Especially by you.

Gilles LeBlanc

Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” wayyy back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. It took him awhile, but Gilles now writes feverishly about all things that rock (and or roll) through his ROCKthusiast alter ego.

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